NEWS | June 27, 2007

Report: Lackland water good to drink

By 2nd Lt. Kristina Campana 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office

An annual report that details the quality of drinking water provided on Lackland and the Lackland Training Annex was recently released by base officials stating that drinking water on base meets Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

Each year Bioenvironmental Engineering, jointly with the Civil Engineer Squadron's Environmental Flight, are required by the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct separate water sample analysis and testing of the two properties and provide separate Consumer Confidence reports on each location to consumers.

For drinking water systems offbase the city is required to complete testing within regulations from the EPA and report their findings annually to their customers.

Reports for Lackland and LTA indicate that "drinking water provided to our customers is safe for consumption with no health risks associated with our water system."

Very small levels of contaminants were found in the drinking water on Lackland and Medina Annex.

Some contaminants are naturally occurring in the environment, and their presence does not indicate that the water poses a health risk to those who consume it, according to Capt. Michael J. Spencer, 37th Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight.

However, "all drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants," he said. When the drinking water meets federal standards, as it does here, there may not be health benefits in buying bottled water, the report states.

The report's diagrams may be confusing for some to interpret. But the first two paragraphs contain the most useful information. The most important information learned from the report is:

"All drinking water provided to our customers is properly tested to ensure the highest quality water possible," Captain Spencer said. "Lackland Air Force Base and (LTA) drinking water meets or exceeds all EPA drinking requirements."

The samples taken from Lackland and the LTA are collected and analyzed by Bioenvironmental Engineering and Civil Engineering Environmental, as specified in the report. To validate the results, samples are also analyzed by state certified labs and validated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The most recent samples are then used to compile the annual report. In 2006, as indicated in the report, 51 samples were collected and analyzed. In the past five years Captain Spencer, said no bad reports were received on drinking water for Lackland and LTA.